Black Women's Empowerment

Dee Barnes Doesn’t Know It, But We Vindicated Each Other.

Since the beginning of the month, I knew that at some point, I was going to address my reasons that I felt like the breakout hit, Straight Outta Compton should not be patronized by particularly black women, and was pretty clear about my reasons.

For my effort to stand up for the honor of black women, I was called a ho, bitch, bed wench, told I should go kill myself, accused of hating on successful black men. When the box office reports showed that the movie grossed $60 million on the first weekend, I wasn’t surprised. I say so in at 10:11 in my video. But guess what? I got trolled on Twitter by black men gloating about the movies success, and “don’t I feel so stupid, and don’t I feel embarrassed, and a few more versions of the childhood taunt, “nah nah nah nah naaaaah!!!”

Why would I be surprised? As far as I know, most black people celebrate black men making money, regardless of who they hurt, murder, beat, debase, dehumanize, as long as they MAKE DATE MONEY MAYNE!! I was saddened, but not surprised. I’ll admit, I was feeling so low, because I watched a parade of black women also coming after me, defending their right to be entertained by men who hate their guts.

I got in battles with Twitter. And in the midst of one, I notice a very important name trending: Dee Barnes. The woman and former friend of Dr. Dre who was pummeled by this bully while his security guards held back onlookers so he could beat her within an inch of her life, and then get blacklisted because everyone likes to back a winner…and no one wanted to jeopardize their good graces with Dre. So not only was this woman feloniously assaulted, her livelihood was snatched away by people complicit with the man who perpetrated this travesty.

That happened in 1991. And STILL, America loves a winner, doesn’t it? Because Dee Barnes has been victimized AGAIN by the powers that be more interested in preserving Dre’s image so he and they can make money. The public wants the right to enjoy a scrubbed version of events so that can feel good about supporting utter unapologetic sociopathy. They didn’t show how Dre has repeatedly beaten the shit out of women. And nearly all media outlets have been silent on the issue or merely skated over it. All except one brave publication. GAWKER has my utter respect. Not only did they report on the 1991 event, they opened their platform so Dee Barnes could be HEARD.

The thing that most saddens me is that utter disunity and lack of sisterhood about this issue, and how the Powers That Be in major feminist organizations and always, always, ALWAYS sided with rap misogyny, arguing that they are just “telling their story” and “sticking it to the white man,” so they’re really on the same team.

What an utter betrayal. I guess these card carrying N.O.W. members don’t care, because HEY! They ain’t calling us bitches, hoes and skanks. They’re not laughing about statutorily raping our girls. They’re not laughing about beating our asses. They’re not bragging about sexually exploiting us, they aren’t assisting in tarnishing our image globally, so why should we give a shit? We (white women) hate the evil white man, same as rappers, so…It’s cool, right?

Once again, the perpetrators of violence and evil are protected by the white people who want to get rich off of them, the women who so misguided and delusional they can’t see their own exploitation, and the entourage of people also benefiting by keeping silent. NWA sold us out AGAIN for the money, and some of ya’ll are cheering from the rooftops and stalking me online to gloat about a how much money a money made that you didn’t make one fucking dime on, but are willing to put your cap on and fight to the death.

Oprah, I’m floored you endorsed this movie too. You have betrayed us. I can’t ever look at you the same ever again. You knew what these idiots were about from the beginning, and you never invited them to your show. What happened? Can’t beat ’em, join ’em?”

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(At least Gina stayed true to her principles. Kudos to her for getting that shout out.)

What I have seen play out has been a complete and total travesty. It truly shows me how black women have no real organized bloc to advocate and protect them. We can’t even protect ourselves from ourselves.

Take a look at what Dee Barnes went through:

Dr. Dre straddled me and beat me mercilessly on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub in 1991.

That event isn’t depicted in Straight Outta Compton, but I don’t think it should have been, either. The truth is too ugly for a general audience. I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le, his one-time girlfriend who recently summed up their relationship this way: “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.”

But what should have been addressed is that it occurred. When I was sitting there in the theater, and the movie’s timeline skipped by my attack without a glance, I was like, “Uhhh, what happened?” Like many of the women that knew and worked with N.W.A., I found myself a casualty of Straight Outta Compton’s revisionist history.

But what she’s about to say is KEY to what I’ve been saying till I’m blue in the face:

I wasn’t in the studio to hear them record their disgusting, misogynistic views on women in songs like “A Bitch Iz a Bitch,” “Findum, Fuckum & Flee,” “One Less Bitch,” and perhaps most offensively, “She Swallowed It.” (On that track, MC Ren brags about violating at 14-year-old girl: “Oh shit it’s the preacher’s daughter! / And she’s only 14 and a ho / But the bitch sucks dick like a specialized pro.”) I heard the material like everybody else, when I was listening to the albums, and I was shocked. Maybe that was their point. Maybe they said a lot of that stuff for the shock value. There were always other girls around, like Michel’le and Rose, and we never heard them talk like that. We never heard them say, “Bitch, get over here and suck my dick.” In their minds, only certain women were “like that,” and I’ve never presented myself like that, so I never gave them a reason to call me names.

And therein lies the problem with the fluidity of being or not being “like that.” When you are in their good graces, when you are a sycophant, if you stay out of their way, you’re not “like that.” Five minutes later, when they perceive you doing something to “disrespect” them, they YOU ARE THAT CHICK. That’s what I’ve been saying all along! Women who say, “They ain’t talking about me!” are delusional. All those monikers are fluid, depending on these guys’ mood. THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT YOU.  

People who want to continue to bask in scrubbed history at the expense of women like Dee Barnes who are STILL being victimized, all I can say is that I hope there is a VIP section in the nine circles of hell for you.

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